1. Individuals: Thatís what coach Mike McCarthy will watch.
Thatís what the final preseason game is all about with starters getting limited time on the field. The plan is to turn over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Joe Philbin so McCarthy can focus on individuals in competition for final roster spots. All teams must cut down to 53 players by 5 p.m. Saturday, and the Packers have several undecided slots further down the depth chart.
2. The defensive backs: Several must make an impression to avoid being cut. If Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Charlie Peprah, Davon House and Jarrett Bush are in, that leaves one or two spots for Pat Lee, Josh Gordy, Brandon Underwood and Anthony Levine.
3. The outside linebackers: Same scenario as the defensive backs. The numbers game will factor in, but Vic Soíoto, Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore and Ricky Elmore are on unstable ground. Jones is the veteran, Soíoto has been the most productive in preseason games and Elmore is one of General Manager Ted Thompsonís valued draft picks.
4. The pass catchers: The Packers are loaded at receiver and tight end, but they canít all make it. Tori Gurley and Chastin West are in competition for the last receiver spot if the team keeps six. The Packers could keep five tight ends ó which would be a lot ó but all five deserve to make the team. Outside of Jermichael Finley, no one amongst Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor should feel completely secure.
5. The running backs: Thereís no question Ryan Grant, James Starks, Alex Green and John Kuhn are in. Where does that leave Dimitri Nance and Quinn Johnson? The retention of five backs will put a strain on one of the previous three position groups. Can the team afford to carry just one fullback in Kuhn? Would a tight end like Crabtree be able to fill in if Kuhn went down? Nance isnít spectacular, but heís steady. Those two are on the bubble, but it may not matter what they do Thursday. But four backs on the roster is a fairly low number.